Thursday, September 15, 2022

DIY Clay Fall Leaf Dish

Air dry clay is becoming one of my favorite mediums to craft with. I've been playing with clay a lot - something I didn't like doing as a child. I could never make anything fun with it. But now there seems to be some amazing things you can do with air dry clay. I've made an MC design scalloped edge dish, a clay and raffia bowl, a pumpkin stem, clay angels, and decorative flowers! I've even made a few items using oven dry clay, too! 

Every month I look forward to participating in the Creative Craft Hop, hosted by Sara @Birdz of a Feather. And since I already had air dry clay left over from  previous projects, I decided to make a simple maple leaf dish! Something to put trinkets or decorative pieces on during the fall season! But this time instead of air drying the dish, I put it in the oven since time was running out to complete this post and couldn't wait two days or more for it to dry. 

Fall is in the air, but it seems like summer is hanging around a bit longer. The temperatures outside have consistently been in the mid eighties these days, and the leaves on the trees are still green. Normally, most diy leaf dishes - and there are plenty - uses a real leaf to get the true design, including the veins of a leaf. Unfortunately, there are no large leaf trees here in my neighborhood or nearby community that I would feel safe picking. Although I was at Sam's the other day, and there were lots of maple trees along the parking lot. Again, I didn't feel safe picking leaves from the trees or ground, for that matter. I didn't want someone from the store running out after me asking what I was doing to the trees, lol! 

Anyway, that being said, I found a free maple leaf template online that I downloaded, copied and enlarged just for this dish.

Disclosure I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites, this post may contain links. I may receive a very small commission at no cost to you! The affiliate money I earn helps pay my crafting expenses. Thanks so much for your support!

Other materials used:

  • Crayola Air Dry Clay
  • Parchment paper
  • Rolling pin
  • Craft knife/ice pick
  • Sandpaper
  • Acrylic paint
  • Mod Podge
  • Wood balls
Let's start with kneading the clay to get it soft and pliable. I wanted to make a rather thick dish so it wouldn't break or chip right away.
Roll the clay out to at least a 1/4" thick on parchment paper using a rolling pin.  
Then cut out the paper maple leaf template and lay it on top of the clay. Use a craft knife to cut out the clay following the maple leaf design.
Then remove the excess clay from around the leaf form.
Dip fingers in water to smooth out any rough spots and edges.
 I used an ice pick to add veins to the leaf.

As I mentioned before, I didn't have time for the air dry clay to dry naturally, so I picked up the parchment paper holding the leaf and placed it on a baking pan. Then put it in a cold oven and turn on the lowest setting which was 170 degrees for a couple of hours.  Turned off the oven and let the leaf stay in the oven, overnight, cooling down.
The leaf was dry the next day, and I began painting it with an orange acrylic metallic paint (no name) from the Fall section of Hobby Lobby. 
It took at least three coats of paint for the color to look good and not faded out. Once dry, the leaf was sealed with Mod Podge. The leaf dish is used for non-food usage only.
Next, I decided to glue on "feet" using round wood balls on the bottom of the  dish to get it off of sitting flat on whatever surface it might be on.
After painting the feet and underside .  .  .
Adding the feet also made it much easier to pick the dish up, too!

How cool does this leaf dish look! Just perfect for Fall!
Welcome to this month's Creative Craft Hop! I hope you enjoyed my tutorial on creating a Clay Fall Leaf Dish!  If you're coming over from Tammy @Patina and Paint, wasn't her Halloween Shadow Box adorable! Next up is Ann @The Apple Street Cottage sharing her cute Denim Pumpkin Sign
Be sure to check out all the talented craft bloggers and their awesome craft creations for this month listed below!

DIY Sewing Kit - Sara @Birdz of a Feather

DIY Crystal Balls from Dollar Tree Supplies - Niki @Life as a Leo Wife

How to Decorate a Glass Vase with Twine - Carol @Blue Sky at Home

Halloween Shadow Box - Tammy @Patina and Paint

DIY Clay Fall Leaf Dish - Gail @Purple Hues and Me

A Denim Pumpkin Sign - Ann @The Apple Street Cottage

Scrap Wood Black Cats for Fall - Donna @Modern on Montecello

Dressed Up Dollar Store Pumpkin Place Cards - Cecilia @My Thrift Store Addiction

Haunted Halloween Mansion - Jenna @The Painted Apron

Faux Terracotta Pumpkin Tutorial - Terrie @Decorate and More with Tip


  1. Awesome project Gail! I've never used air dry clay before. Are you able to preserve left-overs between uses?

  2. Gail how pretty! I've never used air clay but you make it look like something I would enjoy trying. Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. What a cute idea - I love playing with clay and this would be a cute little gift!

  4. This is adorable Gail. I love how you detailed your leaf. Great job and share!

  5. Gail, this is such a lovely example of handmade decor and it's just perfect for fall! Blessings, Cecilia @My Thrift Store Addiction

  6. What an adorable dish! I have had some air dry clay for a while and couldn't think of anything to do with it. You've given me a great idea. Pinned!

  7. So pretty, Gail. I love the color and the little feet!

  8. This new style is too good. And i appreciate your effort you put in this blog. The leaf color is so beautiful. Thanks for sharing this too informative blog. Now it's time to avail african gowns for ladies for more information.

  9. Gail, the more I see these clay projects, I like them. This one is pretty and practical.

  10. WOW your DIY work was very nice. Keep it up. Please share more tips how to made new things. Now it's time to avail Hi Vis Traffic Jacket for more information.

  11. This looks great. I love the acorns!

  12. Thanks for sharing on Crafty Creators! I'll be featuring your dish on tomorrow's party. Congrats!


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